|What is the Toolbox Approach?||The Toolbox Approach consists of dialogue about a set of questions and statements (i.e., the “Toolbox”) in a workshop format. It helps researchers become aware of their own (disciplinary) thought style and the thought style of collaborating disciplines.|
|Why should it be applied?||Often, researchers of various backgrounds start from the assumption that they all share the same scientific thought style. In fact, disciplines differ in what they consider a scientific method, a correct research design or a reliable source of evidence. The Toolbox Approach reveals these underlying assumptions by asking simple (philosophical) questions such as ‘What kinds of data constitute scientific evidence?’. Revealing the underlying assumptions and making them explicit enables deep mutual understanding and deliberation on what shared standards could be.|
O'Rourke M, Crowley S, Eigenbrode S D, Wulfhorst J D (eds) 2014. Enhancing Communication & Collaboration in Interdisciplinary Research. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.
O'Rourke M, Crowley S 2013. Philosophical intervention and cross-disciplinary science: the story of the Toolbox Project. Synthese, V190, N11, pp 1937-1954.
The open questions can be found on p. 61 of
Eigenbrode S D et al 2007. Employing philosophical dialogue in collaborative science. Bioscience, V57, N1, pp 55-64.
Reviewed by Michael O'Rourke